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  • Writer's pictureMSI Marketing

What Is Workforce Optimization

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

This Article Is Authored By MSI Global Talent Solutions

Today’s company and HR strategies focus on how to optimize their workforce. ‘How to’ is interpreted by companies in varying degrees based on the nature of their business. The common denominator? Increasing client satisfaction and profitability to remain competitive in a volatile and competitive market.

What is workforce optimization?

Workforce optimization uses a set of strategies and practices to:

  • improve workforce and organizational efficiency

  • reduce operational costs using factual data

  • increase client satisfaction and productivity

  • ensure competitive growth and profitability

It touches all functions within the company but is typically managed by HR.

The different steps and benefits of workforce optimization
The benefits and goals of workforce optimization

These interrelated tenets result in achieving the strategic goals of increased client satisfaction, driving competitive growth and profitability, reducing costs, increasing efficiencies, managing technology investments, and limiting errors.

Building the Right Company Operating Model

A company’s operating model should focus on productivity and engagement. There is a distinction between operating and business models. They serve different purposes although interrelated:

The What.

  • Business Model: How a company captures and offers value through its products or service offerings, value proposition, customer segments, key partners, and the like.

The How.

  • Operating Model: How a company will operate to best deliver the business model’s value. From how the company sources its products to how it structures its business areas and functions, it is the blueprint for executing a company’s strategy.

A comprehensive company operating model will strengthen a company’s resiliency and allow it to increase its market share as it must align to its business model.

Advanced Technology and Data Science

Advanced technology is a critical area that can support the development of companies of all sizes, particularly small to medium size companies (SMBs). By leveraging technology tools, a company can increase workforce productivity while lowering workforce spending. The result is a higher operating capacity which lets the company focus on delivering a superb customer experience while allowing the company to drive a competitive advantage in the market.

Data science uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms, and systems to extract knowledge and insights from unrefined, structured, and unstructured data, and apply knowledge and actionable insights from data across a broad range of application domains. This is particularly important for HR in developing strategy and applicable reporting capacity for senior leadership, to determine appropriate workforce outcomes.

Being able to create factual insights from data that draw predictive and prescriptive conclusions allows the company and HR to be strategic decision drivers. Data allows for more effective communication between HR, finance, and senior leadership. Without data science capability, determining how to drive critical workforce decisions that drive productivity and not spending becomes a guessing game.

Workforce Effectiveness and Engagement

Simply put, workforce optimization is always having the right workforce. It is the ability to adjust to clients’ needs. Various workforce options are readily available today with workers’ strong desire to have flexibility while maintaining relevancy in the company.

  • Employees

    • Upskilling or re-skilling opportunities

  • Contingent/gig workers

    • Tend to be seasoned specialists

  • Flexibility work options

    • Hybrid

    • Remote at home

    • Remote anywhere

Understanding your workforce, as well as your client needs, lowers costs over the long term. Using advanced technology and data science to dig into your company statistics in real-time, business leaders now have actionable data to search for additional revenue opportunities.

Workforce effectiveness and engagement is a critical components of workforce optimization. The key is how you define the depth of investment your workforce wants to make in your company. It is a reciprocal relationship. Your workforce must feel the depth of your commitment to making them feel successful. This leads to successful retention of your workforce. It is not about making them ‘happy.’

Employees are looking to broaden their careers as the career ladder moves horizontally as well as vertically today. A satisfied workforce resonates with your clients. This is workforce optimization at its best.

The Future of Work

Workforce optimization enables companies to compete on the global stage. Having the right operating and optimization model is the backbone of your company. Getting it right takes time, effort, partnership, and collaboration throughout the organization. Keep a fine-tuned eye on your strategy, as products and clients need to change rapidly. Your ability to remain agile in this ever-changing world will help drive your growth and profitability.


MSI Human Capital and business experts can help build and implement a workforce optimization model that supports your company and HR's long-range strategies for success.

For more information, please contact MSI – at


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